Life. What is this thing called LIFE? Webster presents various
components for its offered definition. However, my favorite has to be
"spiritual existence transcending physical death."
Just think for a moment. If such an offering can be believed,
then logically, we are comprised of far more than our physical, finite
manifestation. That being the case, why then do we spend the majority of
our time in the pursuit for the "material" instead of balancing the focus
in terms of the "spiritual?"
More often than not, we seek to please our physical/finite
manifestation at all costs. Such a sentiment reveals itself when the
majority of our time is spent in the quest of "material" manifestations of
THE ALL. Let that percolate for a moment.
For instance, we will, by hook or crook, seek to purchase the
"phattest" cars, the best clothes, and have the most attractive woman or
man on our arm; while ignoring the spiritual side that is in all actuality
the guiding force of all things - seen or unseen.
I must state at this juncture, that I am not a "religious zealot",
nor am I one who holds the idea that everyone should believe as I do.
However, I do believe that for "successful" completion of this phase of
the journey we call life, critical analysis is essential. For without
asking the fundamental question WHY?, we cannot begin to understand the
reasons for our existence.
In addition, I would not also urge that we become monks or nuns,
some may; however, I will assert that we should search for the middle
ground. Such an endeavor ultimately provides balance in one's life. Just
as you cannot have up without down, left without right, wet without dry,
or male without female (although some may beg to differ), it would then
logically follow that you cannot have material without spiritual. Such an
understanding is simple when attention is given to the thoughts that rage
inside the "you" that is often ignored.
If you have yet to figure out what I am attempting to say, let
me spell it out for you. It's about CHOICES people. Not so much of
choosing one over the other, for they are both complimentary, but choosing
to focus on both simultaneously. Thereby providing the framework for a
"successful" finite existence.
At some point, it must be realized that while the spiritual
serves as the guiding force for all, we do have the opportunity to
exercise choice. When the realization is reached that the choices made
are the result of our response to environmental stimuli, the act of then
rethinking our particular positions can begin. This is what my brother
calls a "teachable moment." For without this elementary process, we
cannot begin to traverse the path toward understanding.
In the finite manifestation of this thing called life, we must
remember that, as we quest for material possessions, we should also
balance our search with that of enlightenment. One litmus test that could
be done to determine how successful your journey was, is to ask yourself
if you would do it all over again. All the while realizing, that all that
you have gone through has served as building blocks for what you have
Column originally published in Signal (Georgia State University's student newspaper)
12 November 1996